comscore 76 soldiers from 2 WWII units have earned Legion of Honor | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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76 soldiers from 2 WWII units have earned Legion of Honor

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The Legion of Honor was created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. The award is France’s highest honor and consists of five classes.

In descending order of distinction, they are grand cross, grand officer, commander, officer and chevalier. The order is conferred upon men and women, either French citizens or foreigners, for outstanding achieve- ments in military or civilian life.

Since 2004, when 442nd veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Barney Hajiro was bestowed the rank of chevalier, or knight, 76 members of the 442nd Regi- mental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion have received the medal and rank for participating in the liberation of France.

Among the Hawaii veterans to receive the award was the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who also was a re- cipient of the Medal of Honor for his service with the 442nd in France and Italy, where he lost his right arm in combat. Inouye received the Legion of Honor from French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011.

To qualify to be decorated as knights of the Legion of Honor, American veterans must have fought in one of the four main campaigns of the liberation of France: Normandy, Provence, Ardennes or Northern France.

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